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Connecticut would consider legalizing marijuana, says governor

Brian Sozzi
·Editor-at-Large
·2 min read

The growing list of states legalizing cannabis may soon have another player in the mix.

Connecticut, and possibly in 2021.

“I think so,” Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont told Yahoo Finance Live when asked if he would pursue the legalization of marijuana in 2021.

To be sure, Election Day 2020 was a big one for the marijuana industry.

Four U.S. states legalized cannabis for adults over the age of 21 for recreational use: Arizona, New Jersey, Montana and South Dakota. Cannabis is now legalized in 16 states. The tax revenue from each state’s cannabis trade is often viewed as a way to help fund various government programs and close deficits.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 20:  Governor of Connecticut Ned Lamont speaks during SiriusXM Business Radio's 'Making A Leader' Series with Governor, Ned Lamont and Wife, Anne Lamont at SiriusXM Studios on December 20, 2019 in New York City.  (Photo by Bonnie Biess/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 20: Governor of Connecticut Ned Lamont speaks during SiriusXM Business Radio's 'Making A Leader' Series with Governor, Ned Lamont and Wife, Anne Lamont at SiriusXM Studios on December 20, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Bonnie Biess/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

For its part, Connecticut could benefit just the same as its neighbor New Jersey. Connecticut reportedly has a budget deficit of $2 billion. Lamont hasn’t been keen on raising taxes or cutting government spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to close the budget shortfall.

That leaves tax revenue from cannabis high on the governor’s priority list for 2021.

“Right now, I’m surrounded by states — New Jersey and Massachusetts — where marijuana is already legal. I don’t need a lot of people driving back and forth across the border,” Lamont added. “We’re trying to keep people close to home as best we can right now. I think legalizing marijuana — doing that safely and making sure that no poison is laced in — I think is one to keep people closer to home.”

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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